Also: Farm-fresh flavors from Stouffer's and sparkling drinks from Ocean Spray.
New from Old El Paso are Tortilla Stuffers -- mixtures you put into warm tortillas (not included). They come in shelf-stable pouches that you heat in the microwave for a minute (Mr. Tidbit used to call this kind of packaging "Miracle on 60-Second Street"). The three choices Mr. Tidbit found are Carne Asada Steak, Mesquite Chicken and Garlic Chili Chicken. They're quick, easy and not bad -- if you like rice.
That's right: All three varieties are mostly rice. That's clear enough on the label if you look for it: Under "CARNE ASADA STEAK," for example, less-arresting type on the label reads "Seasoned Rice, Beef & Black Beans."
Maybe Mr. Tidbit is complaining that the word "rice" isn't more prominent on the label because he just barely finished poking fun at Knorr's new rice side dishes in flavors including Steak Fajitas, Baby Back BBQ and Buffalo Chicken flavors. To be fair, the second ingredient in Tortilla Stuffers is seasoned beef or chicken; the only meat-related ingredient in the Knorr rice dishes is beef fat, bacon fat or chicken fat. (Mr. Tidbit just checked: It's been a whole month since he discussed the Knorr products. Time flies when you're eating rice that tastes like Baby Back BBQ.)
Speaking of odd label designations, Mr. Tidbit feels he needs to mention the latest line from Stouffer's: Farmers' Harvest. The name invokes that "just-picked" farm-fresh flavor, doesn't it? Mr. Tidbit acknowledges that there's nothing quite like just-picked spaghetti & meatballs, just-picked lasagna and just-picked macaroni & cheese. Yes, those and several chicken-and-pasta offerings constitute the Farmers' Harvest line. (Mr. Tidbit can offer no explanation beyond the possibility of a bribe by the durum-wheat cartel.)
Mr. Tidbit notes only this about the new sparkling juice drinks from Ocean Spray (in four-packs of 8.4-ounce cans): The two regular 90-calorie flavors (cranberry and pomegranate blueberry) are 70 percent juice. The 10-calorie diet cranberry version is 12 percent juice; diet pomegranate blueberry is 8 percent juice. (Fruit juice contains sugar.)
Poll: Which 2013 Taste Holiday Cookie Contest entry do you most want to try?